Judge rejects Trump’s request for mistrial in New York civil fraud case

Donald Trump is also facing four criminal cases
Donald Trump's lawyers had argued there was 'tangible and overwhelming' evidence of bias in the case against him - REUTERS

Donald Trump’s request for a mistrial in his $250 million (£206 million) civil fraud case has been rejected by the New York judge overseeing it.

Judge Arthur Engoron said he could not “in good conscience” let Mr Trump pursue a request that was “utterly without merit”.

The former US president’s lawyers had argued there was “tangible and overwhelming” evidence of bias in the case.

They argued Mr Engoron’s rulings and commentary and the political activities of his chief law clerk, Alison Greenfield, had “tainted” the proceedings.

Mr Trump, his sons Don Jnr and Eric, and the family’s business empire are accused of fraudulently inflating assets by as much as $2.2 billion (£1.7 billion) to secure better deals from lenders and insurers.

The civil case has been brought by Letitia James, the New York attorney general. She is seeking at least $250 million in fines and a ban on Mr Trump and his sons working as executives in New York.

Judge Arthur Engoron is overseeing Mr Trump's civil fraud trial
Judge Arthur Engoron is overseeing Mr Trump's civil fraud trial - REUTERS

The Trumps have denied any wrongdoing and claimed the case is politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump, 77, wasted little time in unleashing a volley of attacks against Ms Greenfield after a gag order imposed on him was temporarily lifted.

Writing on his Truth Social platform just hours after an appeals court lifted a ban on him publicly discussing court staff, Mr Trump denounced the clerk as “politically biased and out of control”.

The order had been imposed by Mr Engoron in October after Mr Trump shared a photo of Ms Greenfield with a prominent Democrat on social media.

He has fined Mr Trump a total of $15,000 (£12,000) for twice violating the order, and warned of more serious consequences for future breaches, including imprisonment.

Mr Trump also faces four criminal cases as he seeks a second term in the White House next year.

On Friday, prosecutors in Georgia requested that his election interference case in the state begin on August 5 next year, more than half way through the 2024 election campaign.

The proposed date “balances” potential delays from Mr Trump’s other trials with the “constitutional speedy trial rights” of Mr Trump and other defendants’ in the case, Fani Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney said.

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